Laughter and voices filled the room while the women talked about their kids, husbands, and life’s daily dramas. Moms who work, and moms who stay home, single moms and married moms, mothers to one and mothers to many. Friends who were living life together. We stepped out of our roles as mothers and took the time to reconnect that morning.
I was talking to a particularly fabulous woman who I envied since she always had on a fashionable outfit and her hair and makeup was perfect. If she wasn't one of the nicest people I've ever met, I'd hate her! I on the other hand, left the house with wet hair and flip flops and I felt like a frumpy mom in comparison. In the last six months, I spent too much time comparing myself to my friend and wondering how she managed to get it all done.
There we were in the midst of about 30 women when she made a shocking confession to me. My fabulous friend wondered how I managed to keep it all together. I was floored that she thought I had it all together, couldn't she see my hair?
Turns out my friend was struggling with two kids and was in awe of me keeping everything running smoothly with three kids. In her eyes I had it all together since I was never late and I didn't look flustered when I arrived. I assured her that wasn't the case and confessed that I wondered that same thing about her since she was always dressed so nice without a hair out of place.
When I look back on that morning almost 3 years ago, I can see that day was the beginning of a bond that cannot be broken by the 2,000 miles that separate us now. We are no longer afraid to say that we are struggling or that we feel like a failure that day. There is no such thing as an awkward silence or a house too dirty to invite each other in. It’s wonderful when life reminds you that everyone compares themselves to someone else, it makes it so much easier to be happy in your own skin.
I wish I could say that I learned to stop comparing myself to other women but I still catch myself wishing my kids were as well behaved as one friends or that my yard was as well kept as my neighbors. And don't even get me start on how Facebook and Pinterest makes me feel like a big fat failure on a regular basis. Usually I’m able to remind myself that I’m comparing my ugliest inner weakness to their beautiful outer strength, but there are days when I let the doubt creep in. We need a phone app to remind us of our strengths when all we can see are our weaknesses. Until that day comes, I'll rely on my friends to remind me.